Our office remains open and serving clients during COVID-19. We also remain available 24/7 to answer questions about any potential personal injury claim toll free at 866-966-5240.

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California-Freeway-Accident-AttorneysWith more than 39.5 million people calling California their home combined with tourists and other visitors, California’s freeways, interstates, and highways are perennially congested with traffic. California’s transportation infrastructure ranges from wide city avenues, numerous interstates and freeways, winding beach roads, and major highways, allowing plenty of routes for people to choose to travel to their destinations.

Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere. However, there are some interstates and other roads that are more dangerous than others. Multiple factors increase the risks of accidents on certain roads, including traffic congestion, speed limits, narrow lanes, poor visibility, difficulty navigating, and others. In 2020, 3,723 people were killed in traffic collisions in California, which was a sharp increase over the 3,540 traffic deaths that occurred in the state in 2019.

The population density of California makes it unsurprising that the state is known for traffic problems. Unfortunately, many motor vehicle collisions in the state result in serious injuries or fatalities each year. A recent study also found that California is home to three of the most dangerous freeways in the nation. Understanding which roads are the most dangerous might help people to exercise added caution when they drive on them and potentially avoid being involved in collisions. Here are some of the most dangerous freeways and roads in California.

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California-Bicycle-Accident-AttorneysIn Sept. 2021, an incident involving a 16-year-old teenager who struck six cyclists after blowing clouds of exhaust fumes on a group of cyclists was widely reported in the news media. The incident happened in Texas. Initially, the teen was released by the police from the scene without charges. However, the district attorney’s office in the county where the incident happened recently filed charges against the teen.

While the case is pending in Texas, if a similar incident happened in California, the perpetrator would also likely be charged with serious crimes. In either state, the injured victims would also be entitled to pursue compensation through personal injury claims regardless of the outcome of the criminal case against the defendant. Here is some information about the incident and how it might be handled if it happened in California.

Texas incident

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Sexual-Abuse-Lawsuits-Los-AngelesThe widespread problem of clergy sexual abuse of children within the Catholic church has been well-documented and broadly reported in the news media over the last couple of decades. People who are the victims of sexual assault can pursue compensation through civil sexual assault lawsuits. The California Court of Appeal recently considered a case in which the trial court found that the Archdiocese did not have a duty to protect a minor during the late 1980s because of its lack of knowledge about a priest’s past misconduct in Doe v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B305810.[1]

Factual and procedural background

John HG Doe attended classes at the Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church during the late 1980s. The classes were held in a room located off of the sanctuary. When Doe was 10 in 1988, he asked to go to the bathroom. While he was in a bathroom stall, Father John Higson, an associate pastor who was not Doe’s teacher, entered the stall, groped Doe’s genitals, and forced Doe to perform oral sex on Higson. According to Doe, Higson told him that all of the boys did that as a part of their first communion. When Doe returned to class, he was upset. However, his teacher did not ask him why he was upset, and he did not tell the teacher what had happened to him.

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Los-Angeles-Traffic-Accidents-AttorneysSpeeding places everyone on the road at risk here in Los Angeles. According to data from the National Safety Council, speeding was responsible for 26% of all traffic fatalities that happened in 2019. The NSC also reported that speeding as a contributing factor for fatal accidents decreased with age, and the highest number of speeding-related fatal accidents occurred with young male drivers between the ages of 16 and 24. A recent case that happened in Los Angeles demonstrates the dangers of speeding and the impact this negligent driving behavior can have on others.

Teen Adjudicated for Fatal Accident

A driver who was 17 at the time the crash occurred recently was sentenced to spend between seven and nine months in a juvenile facility after he caused a fatal accident while speeding. On Feb. 17, 2021, the teenager was driving his father’s Lamborghini with his girlfriend at the time. He started racing and was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour when he crashed into a vehicle that was being driven by a 32-year-old woman near the intersection of Overland Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. The collision caused the woman’s car to nearly be split in half, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Fatal-Car-Accident-Lawyers-Los-AngelesWhile gun-related deaths are a serious problem in California and the rest of the U.S., traffic accidents cause just as many deaths as guns each year. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, it is among the most dangerous things you might do on any given day. Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year and cause millions of others to suffer serious injuries.

Even though people have clocked fewer miles during the pandemic, traffic fatalities have increased in the last 18 months. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 42,060 people were killed during 2020, which was a 24% increase from traffic fatalities in 2019. By comparison, USA Today reports that 41,000 Americans were killed in gun-related incidents in 2020, meaning that more people were killed in traffic accidents than in gun incidents.

Even though fewer people were on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic, traffic deaths still surged. This surge in traffic fatalities has continued during 2021 even though more people are back on the roads. Policy changes should be implemented to reduce traffic deaths.

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Rehab-Facility-Injury-Attorneys-300x199In California, close family members of people who die are entitled to pursue compensation through wrongful death claims when their loved ones’ deaths are caused by the negligent actions of others. In Green v. Healthcare Services, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. G057950, the appeals court considered whether a patient’s suicide at a treatment facility qualified as a superseding cause and should have prevented a finding of negligence against the defendant.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Jeffrey Green was a 33-year-old man who had struggled with opioid addiction since he was 16. He started by using Oxycontin and began taking high doses of methadone beginning at age 27. Greene called Lighthouse, residential, voluntary treatment and mental health facility for an intake interview. During the interview, he told the intake person that he wanted to live but not the way that he was. He also stated that he needed to get off of methadone. He also informed the intake person that his father had committed suicide a few years before but denied any suicidal ideations himself. Green signed a “no harm” contract upon his entry to the facility in which he agreed that he would not harm himself.

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California-Paraquat-Injury-Attorneys
In California, many people use paraquat-containing herbicides to prevent weeds from encroaching on their lawns and fields. Paraquat-containing herbicides are commonly used by farmers and agricultural workers, and many people are unaware of the potential dangers these substances pose. Paraquat is a chemical found in many industrial herbicides, including Gramoxone, Parazone, Para-Shot, Helmquat, and others. People who directly use paraquat-containing herbicides with licenses and those who are indirectly exposed to this chemical over a long period of time have a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. People who have developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat-containing herbicides might be entitled to pursue compensation. An experienced product liability attorney at the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC, can review your case and explain whether it has legal merits.

Link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat is a common chemical found in many industrial herbicides that farmers and agricultural workers use on fields to control weed growth. It is used across the U.S. and the world. Researchers have found a link between paraquat exposure and the development of Parkinson’s disease. In a 2019 systematic review, researchers found that Parkinson’s disease occurrence was 25% higher in people who had been exposed to paraquat versus those who had not.

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In California, a person or entity that hires an independent contractor to do work on his or her property will generally not be liable for any injuries that happen to the contractor or the contractor’s employees while they are working on the job. However, a property owner may be liable when he or she retains control over the safety precautions taken on the property or when he or she affirmatively contributes to the creation of the dangerous condition. In Gonzalez v. Mathis, Cal. S. Ct. Case No. S247677, the California Supreme Court considered whether a third exception exists when an independent contractor or the contractor’s employee is injured by an obvious hazard within the work area for which the contractor could not take any reasonable safety measures to avoid it.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Luis Gonzalez was employed as a window washer during the 1990s for a company called Beverly Hills Window Washing. During that time, he regularly cleaned a skylight window for John R. Mathis. Later, Gonzalez started his own window washing business, advertising that his company specialized in cleaning windows and skylights in hard-to-reach areas. Mathis hired Gonzalez and his company to clean his skylight regularly beginning in 2007.

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In California, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the sidewalks and only cross streets at intersections or marked crosswalks. Pedestrians who are struck by cars while walking on the sidewalk or while crossing at crosswalks or intersections might be entitled to pursue compensation against the negligent drivers who crashed into them. However, what might happen when obstructions on a sidewalk make it impossible for a pedestrian to walk there and force him or her to walk in the street? Recently, a Los Angeles pedestrian filed a lawsuit against the city after she was struck by a car while walking in the street because a homeless encampment blocked the sidewalks.[1]

Woman sues LA following pedestrian accident

On Oct. 4, 2020, Debra Todd, a 64-year-old woman from Valley Village, walked to the 101 Freeway overpass near Gower Street to hand out sandwiches and water to people living in a homeless encampment located there. The sidewalk was obstructed by tents, furniture, and other belongings. Todd said she had no choice but to walk in the street because of the obstructions on the sidewalks. The median in that area was also filled with tents as another part of the encampment. When Todd attempted to cross Gower Street, she and a homeless man were struck by a Nissan being driven by a woman. The woman stayed at the scene and reported she had been driving at about 20 miles per hour. The car did not have any visible damage to its front end.

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Personal-Injury-Super-Lawyer-Los-AngelesThe principal attorney and founder of the Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers APC, Steven M. Sweat has dedicated himself to pursuing justice for his clients throughout Los Angeles and California for the past 25 years. Mr. Sweat focuses his practice in the area of plaintiffs’ personal injury law and strongly believes that people who have sustained injuries because of the negligent or wrongful actions of others deserve to be fully compensated.

Mr. Sweat was recently named as a Super Lawyer for the 10th year in a row. Before an attorney can be named as a Super Lawyer, he or she must undergo a rigorous selection process. Attorneys cannot nominate themselves. Instead, Super Lawyers receive nominations from peers. Super Lawyers also conducts in-depth research on attorneys and relies on third-party feedback and managing attorney surveys. Before selection, nominees are evaluated on 12 different indicators, including experience, settlements and verdicts, representative cases, community service and pro bono work, and several others. Attorneys who earn the highest number of points are then compared to other attorneys in the same practice area before a final selection is made. Only 5% of all attorneys are named Super Lawyers. The fact that Mr. Sweat has been named as a Super Lawyer for 10 years in a row is a testament to his legal skills and dedication to his clients.

Before attending law school, Mr. Sweat first completed his undergraduate education at Florida State University, from where he graduated with his Bachelor of Science in 1992. He then moved to California and commenced his legal education at the California Western School of Law, from where he graduated with his Juris Doctor in 1995. While he was in law school, he served as the president of the International Law Society.

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